[Senate Doc. 222, 18th congress, 2nd session]
[American State Papers, p.571-577]
DECEMBER 10, 1824.
The following requisition was this day made on the contractor:
Furnish forthwith twenty thousand rations, which we perceive will be requisite.
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL,
U. S. Commissioners.
Major JNO. H. BRODNAX.
DECEMBER 11, 1824.
The following reply was this day received from the chiefs, in answer to the address delivered them on the 9th instant:
THLE-CATCH-KA, December 11, 1824.
FRIENDS AND BROTHERS:
You have given us a very long talk, which we will now answer the most prominent parts of.
You tell us of things which we never heard before. You tell us that the Muscogees are not the original proprietors of this soil; that they came from the west, and obtained it by conquest. This we do not know. From all the traditions which have been handed down to us from our forefathers, we have been impressed with the belief that we are the original and sole proprietors of the soil. Brothers, the first white people that ever landed here found us here. The first red people that were known to visit the whites were from the Coweta town. We are therefore under the conviction that our people are the original proprietors of the soil, as an inheritance left to us by our forefathers. As proof of this, every sale of lands which has been made to the whites has been made by the Muscogees. But admit that we now hold our lands by right of occupancy only; admit the claim of Georgia to have been a good one to that part of country ceded to the United States by the treaty of cession of 1802; a stipulation in that agreement declares that the United States will extinguish for Georgia the Indian title to. the lands within the ceded limits so soon only as it can be done on peaceable and reasonable terms. This certainly admits the claim of the Muscogees to the right of an occupancy, until they are willing to dispose of that occupancy. It is true that, in the war between Great Britain and her colonies, many of our people were deluded by the British, and persuaded to take the side against the colonies. But after the conclusion of that war, which terminated in favor of the colonies, a new, free, and independent Government was formed, and acknowledged by all or many of the European Powers.
After the establishment of the United States Government, they made treaties with the. different tribes; and the first treaty entered into between the Muscogee nation and the United States, at New York, in August, 1790, the fifth article of which here follows, viz: "The United States solemnly guaranty to the Creek nation all their lands within the limits of the United States, to the westward and southward of the boundary line described by the preceding article," expressly guaranties to this nation all the lands within certain limits, and not ceded by that treaty; a part of which lands are the lands which Georgia now claims. The second article of the treaty of Fort Jackson, done in August, 1814, speaks this language: "The United States will guaranty to the Creek nation the integrity of all their territory, eastwardly and northwardly of the said line, to be run and described as mentioned in the first article." At the treaty of the Indian Springs, in January, 1821, in reply to a request made by the chiefs of the nation to the commissioners, for a guaranty to the remainder of their lands, the commissioners said verbally, "that we had already a sufficient guaranty in two former treaties;" alluding, undoubtedly, to the treaties of New York, in 1790, and Fort Jackson, in 1814. Taking into view words of the treaty of cession with Georgia, and the several guaranties in treaty stipulations between this nation and the United States, as well as the letter of the honorable George Graham, acting Secretary of War, to the Creek deputation, dated 17th March, 1817, an extract of which here follows, viz: " The land which was guarantied to you by the treaty signed by General Jackson and your chiefs and headmen, on the 9th of August, 1814, is your land; and your father the President, who holds you and your nation fast by the hand, will take care that no part of it is ever taken from you, except by the free consent of the chiefs and headmen, given in council, and for a valuable consideration;" it seems to have been distinctly understood by the contracting parties, and acknowledged by the Government of the United States, that no coercive measures were to be apprehended by us; nor can we believe that our father the President will act otherwise than in good faith, in the strict and faithful performance of treaty stipulations. Brothers, we have already parted with various tracts of our land, until we find, our limits quite circumscribed; we have barely a sufficiency left us. The proposal to remove beyond the Mississippi, we cannot for a moment listen to. Brothers, we have among us aged and infirm men and women, and helpless children, who cannot bear the fatigues of even a single day's journey. Shall we, can we, leave them behind us? Shall we desert, in their old age, the parents that fostered us? The answer is in your own hearts. No! Again: we feel an affection for the land in which we were born; we wish our bones to rest by the side of our fathers. Considering, then, our now circumscribed limits, the attachments we have to our native soil, and the assurances which we have that our homes will never be forced from us, so long as the Government of the United States shall exist, we must positively decline the proposal of a removal beyond the Mississippi, or the sale of any more of our territory. Brothers, we feel gratified by the friendly disposition manifested towards us by you; and as we met friendly, so we hope to part.
Your friends and brothers,
[Signed as before.]
DECEMBER 14, 1824.
In conversation with Colonel Crowell, the agent, the commissioners were informed that the two publications dated at Tuckabatchee and Pole Cat Springs, signed by a number of the upper town chiefs, were written by the sub-agent, Captain Walker; that to the first, which was brought to this place in June last, no signatures were obtained, but the agent understood it to be consented to generally. It was then in the handwriting of Captain Walker. The last meeting where the Pole Cat proceedings occurred was at Walker's house. No communication was made to the Government of either of these proceedings.
The following communication was received from his excellency the Governor of Georgia:
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, MILLEDGEVILLE, December 9, 1824.
The Legislature will probably adjourn about the 18th instant; and, as much anxiety is manifested to know whether you have any prospects of concluding a treaty, I have sent an express, that this letter may be safely delivered into your own hands. If there are no prospects of bringing your mission to a favorable termination, be so good as to apprize me of the obstacles you have had to encounter, and if you found yourselves anticipated and forestalled by the Indian council held in the spring, of which we received the first notice recently through an Alabama print. Inform me, if you please, by what authority that council was held; whether with the knowledge, countenance, or encouragement of the agent: was the agent present at that council, and what part did he take: who drew up their state paper: were the proceedings of that council made known by the agent to his Government, without delay; and was it with a knowledge of these proceedings that you were appointed: were any allusions made to them hi your instructions. You will pardon the trouble I give you. There is no absolute right, on my part, to propound these questions; no obligation on yours to answer them. Nevertheless, you are citizens of Georgia; and if your negotiations fail, you will see how necessary it will be for me to receive true and correct answers to these questions, from such Authority as will enable me to use them in vindication of our rights to the best advantage. You will not infer from any of them that hasty inferences have been indulged to the prejudice of the Government of the United States. Hope is still entertained that all will be right; and in no event will any thing be sought to inculpate the Government of the United States but strict matter of fact.
With great consideration and respect,
G. M. TROUP.
To which the following reply was returned:
PRINCETON, NEAR BROKEN ARROW, December 14, 1824.
Your express arrived here on. Sunday, and found us absent on a small excursion up the river on business most importantly connected with our mission. We did not return till yesterday, and then in excessive rain, which has greatly retarded our operations. We are not without our difficulties in determining what shall be our answer to the several inquiries which you have propounded. These do not arise, however, from any reluctance to make to you a full disclosure of our proceedings, and the obstacles which we have had to encounter; but from an apprehension that, by such communication, we might, for the present, weaken the means of which we hope successfully to avail ourselves. As agents of the General Government, and as citizens of Georgia, we cannot regard your efforts upon this subject in other than the most favorable light; and at a time more seasonable, in case of our failure, we shall be prepared most heartily to co-operate in your views, and upon the very points of your inquiries.
We commenced our negotiations in writing; as far as it has progressed in this way, we send you a copy. This method has been abandoned, as too formal, and liable to too many interruptions. Our discussions will be conducted orally for the future, and in this way we shall enjoy advantages which will probably lead to success.
The proceedings which you have seen published as occurring at Tuckabatchee and Pole Cat Springs were evidently intended to forestall us. They have, in a great measure, had the effect, by spreading alarm throughout the nation, by the miserable farrago of threats which they contain. For some time past, the Cherokees have exerted a steady and officious interference in the affairs of this tribe. That this has derived additional impulse, and that we are now encountering a daily interference most active and insidious, we have no doubt.
We decline a specification, in the hope that we may succeed without it, and thereby avoid its irritating consequences. Deeply sensible that a persevering zeal is indispensable in furtherance of the policy of the Government, and in vindicating the rights of Georgia, we will communicate again by express, to reach you in the forenoon of Saturday, if such step should appear to us to promise any advantage.
With sentiments of great consideration and respect, we are your obedient servants,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL.
His Excellency GEORGE M. TROUP, Milledgeville.
On this day (December the 14th) the commissioners attended the council, and found them engaged in the earnest discussion of the subject of the treaty. Eight or ten chiefs delivered their opinions at considerable length, and some with great earnestness and vehemence. After they had closed, the commissioners were invited in, and, having previously arranged with the council to conduct the negotiation, verbally delivered to them a talk, which insisted, in strong terms, upon the acquisition of the whole country by exchange, or of a part by exchange or purchase. The wishes of the General Government were urged. Efforts were used to convince the council that such arrangement was indispensable, whether considered in relation to the United States or themselves; that, for the safety and better means of defence of the United States, and to enable her to comply with the compact with Georgia, it was necessary that the States should lie together in a compact form; that, for the protection and improvement of the nation, it was necessary they should go out of the limits of the States. They were warned against the talks of any body except the General Government, and were told that they had been misled by the Cherokees and others, whose duty it was to have instructed them better.
Many other topics were also urged, and documents read, showing the rights of the United States and Georgia, and the opinions and wishes of the General Government.
At the close of the commissioners' remarks on the above subject, they proposed that the balance of the negotiation should be conducted by a number of chiefs, to be selected by the council; and that the mass who were standing round, and occasioning great expense in rations, should be discharged. They also proposed that the place of negotiation should be changed to some room, which should be more comfortable and convenient; and that the commissioners would pay the expense of such a room. To the whole of these last propositions a flat denial was received. It was answered, that they would discharge none of their people; that they would meet nowhere but in the square; and that the proceedings should be in the presence of all who were attending. Two chiefs then gave their answers to the main subject of the commissioners' talk. These were short, but pointed, consisting of but little more than the emphatic " No." The council were then informed that the commissioners could not take such answers as conclusive; that they should continue the negotiation as long as they thought proper, and would expect to meet the council again on tomorrow.
The following letter was addressed to the agent:
Having been instructed by the War Department to call on you for any information or assistance which we might need, pending the present treaty, we have to request that you cause to be produced to us certain documents transmitted by the Cherokee nation, or some individual thereof, to this nation; also, a letter purporting to have been written by one Charles Casheda, of Tennessee, to the Big Warrior. We deem an inspection of the above documents material to us in furthering the just views and policy of the General Government. If they are in the custody, power, or control of yourself or sub-agent, we shall be thankful if you will cause them to be furnished as soon as practicable.
We are, sir, your obedient servants,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL,
Colonel JOHN CROWELL, Agent, &c.
To which the following reply was received:
In reply to your note of this date, in relation to certain documents said to have been transmitted to the nation by the Cherokees, 1 have to remark, that no such documents, or documents of any description from the Cherokees, are in my possession; but, on application to the sub-agent, he has delivered to me the enclosed papers, and states that they are all that are in his possession. He states that the letter of Casheda of Tennessee to the Big Warrior he believes to be in the possession of the Warrior.
Mr. Peck, who acted as secretary to the Creek council, informs me that he has in his possession the correspondence between the Cherokees and the United States commissioners at New Town, but that he does not feel himself authorized to give them up without the consent of the chiefs from whom he received them.
I have, &c.
JOHN CROWELL, Agent for Indian Affairs.
Messrs. CAMPBELL and MERRIWETHER,
United States Commissioners.
NOTE. - The papers furnished were, a letter from the Cherokee delegation to the President; letter from D. G. Campbell to the Secretary of War, dated 28th November, 1823; report of the Secretary of War to the President; Secretary of War to Cherokee delegation; the delegation to the Secretary of War; and President's message to Congress. The above papers were in manuscript, and, as we believe, in the handwriting of John Ross.
DECEMBER 16, 1824.
The commissioners met the council again on this day, and gave them a talk. Reference was had to the treaties of Augusta, Galphinton, and Shoulderbone, for the purpose of showing that, even before the Revolution, the lands which the nation occupied were not held by title, but were reserved to them simply for hunting-grounds. Subsequent treaties were also referred to, and many arguments urged in favor of an entire or partial cession of lands. A distinct proposition was then submitted, that the United States would give lands in exchange for the entire possessions of the Creek nation, acre for acre, and indemnify the nation for their improvements and the expenses of removal; would pay the sum of five hundred thousand dollars, or would make an exchange for the lands within the limits of Georgia, giving, as odds, the sum of three hundred thousand dollars. To these arguments and propositions the Little Prince replied, that he had directed his warriors several times to tell the commissioners that he had no land for sale, but that we would not believe them; therefore, he would answer himself. He said he should listen to no old treaties; that at New York the nation gave up land, and that General Washington gave them the balance, and told them it was theirs; and that they never intended to spare another foot. The commissioners then laid before them sundry documents, containing evidence of a claim in favor of Blackburn and Houston, of Tennessee, against the nation, forwarded by the War Department; and then retired.
DECEMBER 18, 1824.
The commissioners met in council, and asked whether they persisted in the determination which they had expressed, of ceding lands on no terms. The Big Warrior's deputy answered, that he would not take a houseful of money for his interest in the land, and that we might take this for a final answer.
In regard to the claim from Tennessee, the council insisted on delay, stating that papers were in the hands of the Big Warrior which were material. They said, further, that the arrest of the claimants, and the capture of their goods, were under the order of the agent, Colonel Hawkins; and that this order could not then be produced; and that they could not consider the claim any further at this time.
The commissioners then took their leave of the council, and retired.
On the evening of this day the commissioners consulted as to the course best to be pursued. Believing that they had been defeated by combination and preconcert, they resolved to pursue the subject by every means of which they could avail themselves. It appeared that the most active, industrious, and insidious means had been resorted to, for months, for the purpose of inspiring confidence, determination, prejudice, and obstinacy, in one part of the nation, (upper towns,) and of spreading fears and alarms in the other, by threats and menaces. These were frequently repeated in the course of the negotiation. The commissioners found themselves overreached in the selection of the place. The combination had every opportunity of exerting its devices, and the commissioners had but few facilities of counteraction. We satisfied ourselves that a treaty could be obtained from the chiefs within the limits of Georgia, and to the extent of the Georgia claim. The basis of such treaty would have been exchange of territory, and would have effected the removal of one-half of the nation, (ten thousand.) The commissioners, entertaining some doubts of the validity of a treaty signed by a dividual council, and fearing to expose such part of the chiefs to the resentment of the combination, resolved upon a temporary adjournment, for the purpose of obtaining the further instructions of the Government. The following communication was then addressed to the Secretary of War; but the commissioners, considering that the business of negotiation requires to be precipitated, and that the least delay would endanger success; and considering, further, that the subject admits of better explanation and greater detail by a personal interview with the Executive of the Union, determined that a member of the board should, with the least possible delay, proceed to Washington city, and that proceedings should rest until his return. D. G. Campbell being selected to make the visit to Washington, the board adjourned, and resolved to set out for Georgia the next day.
CITY OF WASHINGTON, January 8, 1825.
The commissioners appointed by the General Government to hold a treaty with the Creek nation of Indians for the acquisition of territory, met at the Broken Arrow, (an Indian town on the Chattahoochie,) on the 29th November last. The negotiation was commenced on the 1st December, with the chiefs of the nation, in number about two hundred. There were in attendance, however, from six to ten thousand of the inhabitants of the country. Our proceedings were necessarily protracted, on account of our exposed situation at an inclement season, and the obstacles which we had to encounter. Having continued in session from the 1st to the 18th of December, we resolved upon a temporary adjournment, that we might be enabled to communicate with the Government upon points materially affecting our future operations. For this purpose, I have visited this place, and now do myself the honor of submitting to the Department, as well the proceedings which have already occurred, as the prospective arrangements which we hope to effect.
From the discussions which have been had, great in number and variety, upon the subject of our relations with the Indian tribes within the limits of States, we are very certain that we do not err in concluding that it is the wish as well as the policy of the Government that the land claim of such tribes should be extinguished, and their removal effected. To produce such desired end, the commissioners have exerted every means which it was in their power to control. Had the authorities and people of the nation been left to the free and unrestrained exercise of their own inclinations and judgment, we believe that our success would have been commensurate with our wishes and propositions. From the outset, it was impossible not to perceive a very striking difference between the sentiments and deportment of the chiefs of the upper and lower towns. This local distinction applies itself to the settlers upon the Tallapoosa, and those upon the Chattahoochie. The former are principally under the control of the Big Warrior, and the latter of General McIntosh. The former were stubborn and unyielding, while the latter considered our proposition as reasonable, and were disposed to its acceptance. A treaty could have been obtained, signed by a large majority of the chiefs within the Georgia limits, ceding the territory which they occupy; and we doubt not but that there would have been a striking unanimity on the part of the population, but for the threats and intimidating language which had been industriously circulated. These are contained in the written proceedings of the two meetings held by a portion of the chiefs at Tuckabatchee in May, and at the Pole Cat Springs in November last. The first of these meetings seems to have been produced, in some measure, by a communication made by John Ross, a Cherokee chief, to the Big Warrior, immediately after his return from this place, in the spring of the last year. His communication was accompanied by manuscript copies of the whole proceedings which occurred shortly previous with that tribe. With the precise tenor of Ross's letter we could not inform ourselves, but understood that it proposed a concert of action between the two tribes; that it earnestly advised a resistance of the policy of the Government; and that its further aim was to depreciate McIntosh, and to destroy his standing and influence. The course prescribed seems to have been scrupulously pursued, for, at the meeting at Tuckabatchee, the resolution was to " follow the pattern of the Cherokees, and, on no account whatever, to consent to sell one foot of land, either by exchange or otherwise." This meeting was attended exclusively by chiefs within the Alabama limits. The proceedings of this meeting were in the presence of, and reduced to writing by, Captain Walker, the sub-agent, and carried shortly after (in June) to the Broken Arrow by the Big Warrior, and submitted for sanction. No objection was made, except by McIntosh; neither do we understand that any direct sanction was obtained. The time which transpired between the period of this meeting and the subsequent meeting at the Pole Cat Springs, in November, seems to have been industriously employed in confirming the decision of the upper town chiefs, and in exciting and cherishing the fears and alarms of McIntosh and his adherents.
The second meeting at the Pole Cat Springs was at the house of the sub-agent, and, as on the previous occasion, he was the writer of the state paper, and immediately afterwards caused both to be published in the newspapers of Alabama. A paper containing these publications accompanies this statement. Of the existence of these proceedings, by which the question was prejudged and the commission forestalled, we had no knowledge until we obtained it casually on our way to the treaty. Under these disadvantages, the negotiation was commenced; and the journal of our proceedings, herewith furnished, will serve to show, to some extent, the manner in which it was pursued. The commissioners were dependant solely upon their own exertions. They derived no aid from the principal agent, and encountered the perfidious opposition of his assistant. I may not, sir, have a proper apprehension of the duties and obligations of the agent's department; but, according to my convictions, a furtherance of the views and policy of the Government should form its paramount consideration. The agent, however, entertains a different sentiment, and professes to pursue the course of strict neutrality. As against the agent, we make no charge of interference; but that Captain Walker has prostituted the duties of his office, and wantonly intermeddled, we have no hesitation in alleging. If these people are capable, they are not inclined to draw the distinction, and, therefore, give to the conduct of Captain Walker the sanction of the agent's department.
I have thus, sir, enumerated some of the causes which operated what our adversaries are pleased to regard an entire defeat. We are, however, far from considering that we have failed in laying the groundwork of the most pleasing and satisfactory success. The letter which I had the honor to address to the Department from Augusta, in November 1823, in which allusion is made to the sentiments of General McIntosh, has been used as an instrument, in the hands of his enemies, for the purpose of lessening his influence and of bringing him into contempt among his own people. Satisfied, as I am, that nothing which I then said, or which I shall now say, ought rightfully to have such tendency, I shall proceed to detail some further proceedings with which that individual is particularly connected. So long as the negotiation was conducted with the council generally, no answer was received other than a prompt rejection of every proposition which was submitted. We were aware that individuals sitting in council acquiesced in such refusal, who are heartily disposed to a cession, but were held in restraint by the intimidating language of the adverse party. We made access to a number of chiefs of this description, and received from them a full disclosure of their feelings, wishes, and difficulties. A treaty could have been obtained, signed by a full representation of chiefs from all the towns within the limits of Georgia. The population contained within those limits is represented by the agent to be about ten thousand, and also to be the one-half of the whole nation. Such treaty would have extinguished the Indian claim to all lands within the limits of Georgia, and would have effected the removal of that number of Indians beyond the Mississippi. To the conclusion of such a treaty, at the time, and under the circumstances, two difficulties presented themselves. We had commenced our negotiation with the entire nation, represented by a national council. After doing this, we were not fully satisfied that a treaty, obtained from a divided council, sitting at a different place, would have met the sanction of the Government. Its rejection would have reduced its signers to the grade of common Indians, and perhaps have exposed their persons to the severest vengeance of the opposing party. It was therefore thought most expedient to come to a temporary adjournment, and consult the Government in relation to the exigency. The authority of the Executive is asked to convene the chiefs within the limits of Georgia; to negotiate with them exclusively, if we think proper; or inclusive of a deputation of chiefs from the upper towns, if such deputation should present themselves, and evince a disposition to negotiate to further extent. The success of any future operation depends solely upon the decision to be made upon this proposition. The grant of such authority, with positive certainty, will result as I have stated. If it be considered as inconsistent or impolitic, then any further prospect of acquiring lands of the Creeks by the process of negotiation may be considered as closed. Much conversation was held with General McIntosh concerning the details and consequences of such an arrangement. He is the only Indian with whom I have ever conversed who seemed to comprehend rightly the connexion between the Indian tribes and the Government of the United States. If others have the like legal view of their condition, they have never had the candor or magnanimity to express it. He seems to appreciate very feelingly .the manner in which the tribe has been cherished, and the very humane and advantageous policy suggested by the President and the Department of concentrating all the tribes in compact settlements beyond the Mississippi. In effecting this design, he will have it in his power to be eminently useful. Himself and his followers (ten thousand in number) would form the largest tribe in the west; and, by example and invitation, would induce others to join them. It is sanguinely believed that, even at the outset, if such arrangement were about to occur, the nation would not permit itself to be divided, but that the whole would come in, and that the removal would be general and entire. But if this desirable end could not be produced at once, the emigrating party would very speedily drain from our limits those who might remain. For considerations like these, I view it as matter of great moment to maintain McIntosh in his authority and influence, and in his estimation of himself. I beg to be pardoned for suggesting that I consider this much his due, from the important military services which1 he has rendered the United States. He stands very differently, in point of merit, from his principal opposer, (the Big Warrior;) and the like difference would be found in a comparison of the followers of the one with those of the other. He has been to the west himself, and has the judgment to discover, and the candor to acknowledge, the superior advantages of a location in that quarter. He would have preferred the territory selected by the Choctaws, but has no objection to a settlement still further west. The emigrating party are desirous that as little time should be lost as possible. They will send out an exploring committee, and wish to avail themselves of the spring and summer of this year for that purpose. They are desirous, also, that the period of their removal should not be beyond the next fall. Such promptness and expedition cannot be otherwise than acceptable to the Government. It will be particularly so to the States which are interested. It is proposed by the emigrants themselves to relieve the Government from the entire expense and detail of transportation. A particular sum, not unreasonable or excessive in amount, will be stipulated to be given, which they will receive and disburse themselves, considering it as a full indemnity for the improvements which they abandon, and the expenses which they may incur, either in transportation or the purchase of necessaries to sustain them in their new settlement.
Upon the subject of the government of the Creeks, we could not acquire information of a definite and satisfactory character. Their council is composed of a great number of chiefs, of various grades of authority. The Big Warrior is head chief of the upper towns, and McIntosh of the lower; he is also speaker of the nation. The Little Prince is highest in authority, being head chief of the nation; and has been uniformly the friend and adherent of McIntosh. In the present negotiation, he considered himself bound by the sanction he had given to the proceedings at Tuckabatchee and Pole Cat Springs. His attendance at those meetings we consider to have been insidiously procured.
The attendance of the head chief of the Coweta town was procured in like manner, at the last meeting at Pole Cat Springs. The name of this chief, as signed to the proceedings, is Tome Tuskumuggee. I received the statement from himself, that he had been taken in, and imposed upon, and that he should not hold himself bound by the supposed pledge. This Coweta town is the most extensive and numerous in the nation, and claims to be the original town of the whole tribe, and that all others are its branches. In proof of this priority of standing, I beg leave to refer you to our journal, which contains a communication from the council of the 11th of December, in which they say that " the first red people that ever visited the whites were from the Coweta town." The like proof was contained in an observation of the Little Prince during the negotiation. In argument, an old treaty was referred to, which had been concluded between the Creeks and the State of Georgia. Its authenticity was denied, on the ground that " no Coweta chief had signed it." Coweta is on both sides of the Chattahoochie; contains McIntosh, the Little Prince, Tome Tuskumuggee; and extends from Broken Arrow to the Cherokee boundary. It is worthy of remark, that the treaty of 1821, concluded at the Indian Springs, is signed by but two chiefs on the Alabama side of the nation. The fact is, that McIntosh maintains the right of the Coweta town alone to dispose of the whole country. It would seem that the upper towns conceded this authority, and dreaded its exercise; for the utmost consternation was discoverable whenever it was known that the commission [the commissioners] and the Coweta chiefs had had an interview.
Thus, sir, have I hastily detailed to you the obstacles which we had to encounter; the foundation which we laid; the prospective advantages which are held out to us; the manner of their attainment; and a very imperfect history of the relative powers of the Creek towns. I shall be gratified if the sketch shall be found to contain the information required. If it does not, its defects may probably be supplied by reference to myself; and [I] hope that such reference may be made, without reserve, as often as necessary.
I would add, very respectfully, that an early decision is desirable. It is in contemplation to return to the Creek country, re-assemble the chiefs by the 5th of February, and transmit the treaty in time for the adjudication of the present Senate.
With great consideration and esteem, I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL.
The Hon. J. C. CALHOUN, Secretary of War, Washington City.
Extract of a letter from Colonel Duncan G. Campbell, Commissioner, &c., to the Secretary of War, dated
WASHINGTON, January 11, 1825.
Having understood from the Department this morning, in a verbal conversation, that the President, after consulting the cabinet, had declined granting to the commissioners the authority which was asked in my communication of the 8th instant, I take leave to propound another course, and to request that I may be instructed accordingly, as the decision may be made.
The facts heretofore disclosed show a willingness on the part of the Indians within the Georgia limits to cede their territory, and to emigrate; but insurmountable obstacles present themselves to the acceptance of a treaty thus concluded. It is now proposed to reassemble the chiefs of the whole nation; to renew the offers already made; to obtain the entire Creek country, if practicable; but if this cannot be effected, then to accept a treaty signed by the chiefs within the limits of Georgia, provided such treaty be accompanied by the assent of the other chiefs that the land to be abandoned by the emigrating party shall be immediately subject to the disposition of the Government. I am unable to perceive any objection to which this proposition may be liable. If the President entertains the like views, and we can receive specific instructions that the plan proposed coincides with the wishes and policy of the Government, I have a strong assurance that a treaty, highly favorable, may shortly be obtained. The special message of the President, which you mentioned as being about to be made, will no doubt be found an efficient auxiliary.
Copy of a letter from D. G. Campbell to Colonel John Crowell, Agent of Indian Affairs.
WASHINGTON CITY, January 12, 1825.
The commissioners on the part of the United States have come to the conclusion of assembling the chiefs of the Creek nation, for the purpose of submitting to them matters of importance to themselves and the Government. The day of convention will be the 7th of February next, (Monday,) at the Indian Springs. We are desirous that all the chiefs of the nation should attend who are in the habit of transacting public business and of signing treaties. You will cause the enclosed invitation to be circulated forthwith amongst the chiefs, and broken days issued accordingly. On my return to Georgia, which will be in a few days, I shall probably have occasion to address you further upon the subject of the negotiation.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL.
Colonel JOHN CROWELL, Agent Indian Affairs.
Copy of the circular addressed to the chiefs.
WASHINGTON CITY, January 12, 1825.
To the Chiefs of the Creek nation:
By the authority of the President of the United States, you are requested to convene at the Indian Springs on Monday, the 7th day of February next. Matters of great consequence to the nation and the United States will be laid before you.
We shall expect all to be present on the day appointed who are in the habit of transacting the business of the nation, and of signing treaties.
DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL,
in behalf of himself and
United States Commissioners.
Copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to Colonel Duncan G. Campbell, Commissioner, &c. dated
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, January 13, 1825.
I am directed by the President to inform you that Captain Walker, the sub-agent of the Creek nation, has been discharged by his order. The reasons for his discharge will appear in the letter to Colonel Crowell, the agent, covering the discharge of the sub-agent, a copy of which is herewith enclosed.
The agent was instructed, by a letter from this Department of the 16th July last, covering an extract from the instructions to yourself and Major Merriwether, to obey your orders on all points connected with the proposed treaty, as will appear by a copy of the letter and of the extract referred to, and herewith enclosed. It was not doubted by the Department but that he would zealously co-operate in effecting the object of the Government in authorizing the treaty to be held. It appears, however, by the report, that the agent neglected to inform you of the previous meetings and decision of the Creek chiefs at Tuckabatchee and the Pole Cat Springs, which had so material a bearing on the negotiation, and that the commissioners had to rely solely upon their own exertions, without aid from the agent, who assumed a neutral position. It also appears from the journal, that, in the opinion of the commissioners, the Creek Indians had been misled by the Cherokees, and others whose duty it was to have instructed them better. It is the desire of the President, before he makes any decision on the conduct of the agent, to be put in full possession of all the facts and circumstances, which may enable him to form a correct opinion as to his conduct and motives in withholding his co-operation; and, particularly, whether the agent received any instruction from the commissioners directing his general or particular co-operation, which he refused, or neglected to fulfill; and who are referred to in speaking of "others," in the extract from the journal of the proceedings of the commissioners above stated; and, particularly, whether the agent was, and, if so, by what particular acts of his were the Creeks misled.
It is doubtless the duty of the agent to watch over and to protect the Indians assigned to his agency, and to advance their interest in all cases under the treaties, laws, and instructions of the Department; but still he is the agent of the Government, and is bound in all cases to give his zealous co-operation in effecting its views. In addition to which, in this case he was particularly directed to obey the instructions of the commissioners, which ought to have excluded all doubt as to his duty of affording all the aid in his power to contribute to a successful termination of the treaty.
The commissioners, in their communication to the Governor of Georgia, speaking of the difficulties in answering his inquiries, remark that "these [difficulties] do not arise from any reluctance to make to you [the Governor] a full disclosure of our proceeding's, and the obstacles which we have had to encounter; but from an apprehension that, by such communication, we might, for the present, weaken the means of which we hope successfully to avail ourselves. As agents of the General Government, and as citizens of Georgia, we cannot regard your efforts upon this subject in other than the most favorable light; and at a time more seasonable, in case of our failure, we shall be prepared most heartily to co-operate in your views, and upon the very points of your inquiries." Again: " That we are now encountering a daily interference, most active and insidious, we have no doubt. We decline a specification, in the hope that we may succeed without it, and thereby avoid its irritating consequences."
The President requests to be informed of the nature of the communication which was withheld from the Governor, and which, if it had been communicated, would, for the present, weaken the means of which the commissioners hoped successfully to have availed themselves; and which, at a time more seasonable, in the case of a failure, they proposed to make known, and to co-operate with his views on the points of his inquiries; and what was the nature of the means referred to; and, also, what was the nature of those active and insidious interferences which the commissioners encountered, but which they declined specifying in their answer to the Governor, in order to avoid irritating consequences; and from whence such interferences came.
The proposed renewal of the negotiation renders the explanation the more desirable. The President is very solicitous for its successful termination; and a full disclosure of the nature, extent, and source of the opposition at which the commissioners hint will enable him to adopt such measures as the facts disclosed may require. I have the honor to be your most obedient servant,
J. C. CALHOUN.
To Col. DUNCAN G. CAMPBELL, Commissioner, &c.
Copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to Colonel John Crowell, Indian Agent, &c., dated
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, January 13, 1825.
I herewith enclose a letter to Captain Walker, discharging him from the service of the United States as sub-agent, which you will cause to be delivered as speedily as practicable. The charges against Captain Walker are, generally, that he aided and countenanced the Indians in their opposition to the treaty, and particularly that he penned the publication of the Creek chiefs at Tuckabatchee and the Pole Cat Springs; and that their meeting at the latter was at his house, and with his sanction and countenance. In addition to the above, it appears, by verbal statements, that Captain Walker has married a daughter of one of the principal chiefs of the nation, which creates a relationship that is calculated to influence him improperly in the discharge of his duty. Captain Walker's place will be filled by the Department as soon as a suitable person can be selected.
I have, &c.
J. C. CALHOUN.
To Col. JOHN CROWELL, Indian Agent, Creek Agency, Georgia.
Copy of a letter from the Secretary of War to Mr. William Walker, Sub-agent, &c., dated
DEPARTMENT OF WAR, January 11, 1825.
It appearing by the journal and report of the commissioners appointed by the President to treat with the Creek Indians for a cession of territory, that, so far from contributing to effect the object of the Government, your influence has been used in defeating the successful termination of the treaty, I am directed by the President to inform you that you are, in consequence, discharged from the service of the United States as sub-agent; and your pay and duties will accordingly cease on the receipt of this communication.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. CALHOUN.
To Mr. WILLIAM WALKER, Sub-agent, Creek Agency.
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